Q. What does a
typical day at work consist of?
Organize priorities / email review / review priorities with
colleagues / attack priorities / review progress with colleagues / at
end of day, see what we've accomplished, so where we'll start tomorrow
Q. What is your office space like?
Former garage, converted into offices, spiced with Idea Cafe's bright color
palette. I work at a u-shaped desk I designed and personally use 2
Macs and three monitors (I like to see a lot at once). We have a
wall-to-wall whiteboard for visualizing ideas and plans.
Q. What inspired you to start Ideacafe.com?
Although I'd previously been involved in publishing business
information, I felt the personal issues involved in owning a business deserved
attention. Plus, since many people go into business to make their
work life more fun, I wanted to serve up business help spiced with
color and fun.
Q. What are some of the obstacles that you encountered when you were
Assuming Idea Cafe would get venture funded (which we didn't), we wasted
time looking for funding that could have been better spent just
building the biz. Or, we could/should have accepted some of the funding
offers we had -- in hindsight, we should have been more realistic
from the get-go.
Q. What are some of the benefits and challenges to running Ideacafe.com?
Hearing from Idea Cafe Regulars how Idea Cafe has helped them feel they
aren't alone in the challenges they face as biz owners, and how Idea
Cafe gives them the courage to keep going and keep their sense of
humor intact. (Their humor and enthusiasm helps me retain my sense of
humor, despite the travails of biz.)
Like any small business, the work is ongoing, with little time to
escape for a real break. It's tough to have to earn and collect money before
you can spend it -- keeps us moving ahead slower than I'd like.
Q. Where do you see Ideacafe.com in five years?
I see Idea Cafe becoming even more of a magnet for small business owners,
and a hub where entrepreneurs can network with each other human-to-human
as clients and vendors, as well as professional friends. I see Idea
Cafe being able to do even more to help people refer business to
each other and have fun in the process.
Q. Where do you see the future of the dot com entrepreneurial industry
The Internet is becoming just another established channel for
marketing and communications -- like direct mail, broadcast, etc.
Q. What are some of the biggest mistakes that you see fledgling creative
artists make in their business ventures?
Not paying attention to the math of business. Being right-brained,
creative people just don't relate to the cut-and-dry world of math.
But we've each got to find a way to understand the math of business adequately,
and make it a point to review your financial status at regular
Q. Who are some of your role models?
* Johnnie Mae Davis, whom I worked under summers in college, showed me
how to stay calm, no matter how flustered you feel in the midst of chaos
and people doing weird things.
* I respect the Newman family (Paul, Joanne, Nell) for giving profits from
their business to deserving groups they believe in, and for keeping
a fun spirit in their businesses. (Following their example, Idea
Cafe has set up our own grants program for small business owners --
I just wish we had deeper pockets so we could give grants to everyone
who deserves one!)
* And I respect Oprah Winfrey for creating her own company, and retaining
control of how her personality and skill are marketed.
Q. What advice do you have for people at the beginning of their
* Don't wait until you think you have enough knowledge to start a
business or take the next step. Just do it -- you'll figure out how
in the process.
* Don't fret over what you can't do or aren't good at -- success is
much more a factor of confidence than of skill or training.
* Remember, force yourself to keep your eyes on the math of your
business (i.e. accounting, profit and loss, etc.). Get a bookkeeper to help
you keep up with it, but YOU make the decisions and sign the checks.
* If you feel confused, down, or prone to procrastination, just drop by
Idea Cafe www.ideacafe.com
to get your creative energy flowing again.
Q. What do you do in your spare time?
My husband and I love to dance, so we're always on the lookout for a